Jaime Golombek who works at VT iDirect writes
On top of all the other great advise, in no particular order:
- The offers for unsecured credit cards for newcomers are advertised as valid for a year after your arrival, but in fact they are valid only for a year after you get your 'landed immigrant' status, regardless of when you actually move. Still, if you have a solid financial situation you'll be able to get a credit card if you speak with the right person at the bank.
- Record the dates of every trip you take outside of Canada: You will need this information to renew your PR card and apply for citizenship. This is especially important if you travel often for business.
- You can start the process for renewing your PR card up to 9 months before it expires. This is important if your PR card will expire before you've met the citizenship physical presence requirements. If you do travel often for business the process will drag for months so it's better to start early.
- Don't buy cheap thermal underwear from Walmart, buy the pricier stuff. After you get over the shock of paying more than CAD $50 for a piece of underwear it will be worth it. Buy the minimum you'll require for your first winter and then wait for the sales at the end of the season, which begin by January. That holds true for boots, jackets, gloves and so on.
- Start looking for a family doctor as soon as you arrive as it may take some time. Until you get one you'll have to use the walk-in clinics.
- IKEA has great prices for all your household gear, not only furniture but kitchen stuff as well. If you buy your furniture from IKEA do yourself a favour and buy their tool kit with the electric screwdriver from the beginning. Most likely you'll eventually buy it, might as well get if from the get-go.
- For winter get yourself a heavy duty door mat and a boot tray. Take your shoes off when visiting somebody's house (this is non intuitive coming from a warm country).
- Try to use the Canadian spelling when it diverges from the American spelling (e.g. colour, cheque, licence).
- Enjoy the summer time and when it looks like winter will never end think about the fun you’ll have again during the long days of summer.
Best of luck!